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But, Sir, of writers ? Swift for closer style,
But Hoadly for a period of a mile.
Why, yes, 'tis granted, these indeed may pass ;
Good common linguists, and so Panurge was; 75
Nay, troth the Apostles (tho' perhaps too rough)
Had once a pretty gift of tongues enough:
Yet these were all poor gentlemen! I dare
Affirm 'twas travel made them what they were.
Thus others' talents having nicely shown, 80
He came by sure transition to his own;
Till I cry'd out, You prove yourself so able,
Pity you was not druggerman at Babel;
For had they found a linguist half so good,
I make no question but the Tow'r had stood. 85
Nay, but of men? most sweet Sir! Beza, then,
Some ists, and two rev'rend men
Of our two academies, I nam'd. Here
He stopt me, and said ; Nay, your Apostles were
Good pretty linguists; so Panurgus was,
Yet a poor gentleman; all these may pass
By travail. Then, as if he would have sold
His tongue he prais'd it, and such wonders told,
That I was fain to say, if you had liv'd, Sir,
Time enough to have been interpreter
To Babel's bricklayers, sure the Tow'r had stood.
He adds, If of court-life you knew the good
Obliging Sir! for courts you sure were made, Why then for ever bury'd in the shade ? Spirits like you should see and should be seen ; The King would smile on you....at least the Queen. Ah, gentle Sir! you courtiers so cajole us.... 90 But Tully has it, Nunquam minus solus : And as for courts, forgive me if I say, No lessons now are taught the Spartan way. Tho' in his pictures Lust be full display'd, Few are the converts Aretine has made;
95 And tho' the court show vice exceeding clear, None should, by my advice, learn virtue there.
At this entranc'd, he lifts his hands and eyes, Squeaks like a high-stretch'd lutestring, and replies ; Oh 'tis the sweetest of all earthly things 100 To gaze on princes, and to talk of kings! Then happy man who shows the tombs ! said I; He dwells amidst the royal family ;
You would leave loneness. I said, not alone
My loneness is ; but Spartanes' fashion ;
To teach by painting drunkards, doth not last
Now; Aretine's pictures have made few chaste;
No more 'can princes' courts, tho' there be few
Better pictures of vice, teach me virtue.
He, like to a high-stretch'd lutestring squeakt, 0, Sir!
'Tis sweet to talk of kings ! At Westminster,
He ev'ry day from king to king can walk,
Of all our Harrie's, all our Edward's talk, 105
And get, by speaking truth of monarchs dead,
What few can of the living, ease and bread.
Lord, Sir, a mere mechanic ! strangely low,
And coarse of phrase....your English all are so.
How elegantly your Frenchmen! Mine, d’ye mean?
I have but one, I hope the fellow's clean. 111
Oh ! Sir, politely so ! nay let me die,
Your only wearing is your Paduasoy.
Not, Sir, my only; I have better still,
And this you see is but my dishabille....
115 Wild to get loose, his patience I provoke, Mistake, confound, object at all he spoke :
Said I, the man that keeps the Abbey tombs,
And for his price doth, with whoever comes,
Of all our Harry's and our Edward's talk,
From king to king, and all their kin can walk;
Your ears shall hear nought but kings; your eyes meet
Kings only; the way to it is King's-street.
He smack'd and cry'd, He's base, mechanique coarse,
So're all your Englishmen in their discourse.
Are not your Frenchmen neat? Mine, as you see,
I have but one, Sir; look, he follows me.
Certes, they're neatly cloath'd. I of this mind am,
Your only wearing is your grogaram.
But as coarse iron, sharpen'd, mangles more,
And itch most burns when anger'd to a sore;
So when you plague a fool, 'tis still the curse, 120
You only make the matter worse and worse.
He pass'd it o'er; affects an easy smile
At all my peevishness, and turns his style.
He asks, what news? I tell him of new plays,
New eunuchs, harlequins, and operas.
He hears, and as a still, with simples in it,
Between each drop it gives stays half a minute,
Loath to enrich me with too quick replies,
By little and by little drops he lies.
Mere household trash! of birthnights, balls, and shows
More than ten Holinsheds, or Halls, or Stows. 131
Not so, Sir; I have more. Under this pitch
He would not fly. I chaf'd him; but as itch
Scratch'd into smart, and as blunt iron ground
Into an edge hurts worse ; so I (fool!) found
Crossing hurts me. To fit my sullenness,
He to another key his stile doth dress,
And asks, what news ? I tell him of new plays:
He takes my hand, and as a still, which stays
A semibrief 'twixt each drop, he niggardly,
As loath to inrich me, so tells many a lye,
When the Queen frown'dor smil'd; and he knows what
A subtle statesman may gather of that;
When the Queen frown'd or smild he knows, and
A subtle minister may make of that:
Who sins, with whom; who got his pension rug,
Or quicken’d a reversion by a drug;
Whose place is quarter'd out three parts in four,
And whether to a bishop or a whore :
Who having lost his credit, pawn'd his rent,
Is therefore fit to have a government:
Who in the secret deals in stocks secure,
And cheats th' unknowing widow and the poor:
Who makes a trust of charity a job,
And gets an act of parliament to rob:
Why turnpikes rise, and now no cit nor clown
Can gratis see the country or the town': 145
Shortly no lad shall chuck or lady vole,
But some excising courtier must have toll :
He tells what strumpet places sells for life,
What 'squire his lands, what citizen his wife:
He knows who loves whom, and who by poison
Hastes to an office's reversion :
He knows who 'ath sold h'is land, and now doth beg
A license, old iron, boots, shoes, and egg-
Shells, to transport. Shortly boys shall not play
At span-counter, or blow-point, but shall pay
Toll to some courtier; and, wiser than all us,
He knows what lady is not painted. Thus